“When day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it” (Amanda Gorman, U.S Poet Laureate)
I often use the word Namaste loosely in greeting people with folded hands over my chest or as a casual closure recital at the end of my yoga classes. Having visited India twice in the last five years, I’m thus curious to know about the positive spiritual aura that pervades Namaste’s use amid Hindu culture. So why do I seem to take this concept so lightly in my own country? For given my current Namaste interest, I do not wish to “buy in” to our current culture of blame filled negativism that has intensified in the U.S.A. amid left/right wing differences recently. Therefore, it seems appropriate now to more fully embrace the self cleansing aspect of this powerful concept in my daily life. Perhaps the following fictional story will enlighten you to how I wish to proceed in utilizing this powerful message of Namaste to calm such festering fits of human discontent by paying deeper attention to the goodness of others.
Jason woke up each day feeling confused by his prolonged inability to live up to his baseball hitting potential with the Chicago Cubs. After all, as he had signed a multimillion dollar bonus contract out of high school with the “Cubbies” as one of the top American baseball prospects destined for major league stardom. Yet he faced a challenging reality now in he second month of his rookie year. For he often fretted angrily about the boos he heard from the home crowd stands after each non-hitting game performance. It seemed certain to him as well that this first year batting slump would inevitably spiral into his release from the Cubs and raise a “black flag” that other teams would be reluctant later to sign him. In such case, would Jason struggle as well to find a suitable backup career option as a twenty one year old baseball underachiever out of work without a college degree?
Thus Jason felt his ego increasingly shattered being demoted to an occasional pinch hitter and frequent “benchwarmer” role in early May. It’s not that Jason had not tried to get out of his slump. For being obsessed with hitting fundamentals, he’d “ramped up” his batting practice time before games, maximized his bench press efforts to grow stronger, and studied over and over, slow action video replays of his batting swing. None of these time tested actions, however, seemed to translate to game time success.
Consider the fact that his wife, Janice, who knew basically nothing about baseball, would surprisingly become the initial catalyst for restoring Jason’s faith in making a successful baseball career. For on this off day Thursday morning, he made a last moment decision to accompany Janice to her meditation yoga class. This event would radically change the outlook of his life by convincing him that he had been approaching baseball hitting skills wrongly. For as the class progressed, he observed how mentally focused the class participants seemed in moving with unforced effort to the inspiring positive mantras of the instructor. One particular verse that the students chanted as the class ended immediately stood out in his mind.
“May every human in the world be happy & well. May the leaders protect the earth by following the path of virtue. May there be goodness & well being for everyone who knows the earth to be sacred. May the universe & world be happy & peaceful. Peace, Peace, Peace…”Namaste
Jason resolved without hesitation then to make a concerted effort to apply such positive yoga learnings as he approached his next at bat. He got his chance on a sunny Mother’s Day Sunday a few days later to hit in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game at Wrigley Field. For the stage seemed set for him to be today’s hero and thus provide a “ walk off” win in front of this celebratory, sold out crowd. So as he waited his turn to hit next in the batter’s circle, he gazed around wondrously at the positive aura he felt at Wrigley Field today. He first glanced in awe at the comforting blanket of green ivy perfectly covering the distant home run walls. He next chuckled quietly at the amusing presence of loyal fans awkwardly craning their necks like ostriches from atop rooftop terraces beyond the stadium perimeter to see the game in progress. He waved as well at a little girl smiling sitting above the dugout instead of agonizing over the booing jeers that would inevitably take place as he entered the batting box. But most importantly, he thought then of the positive support his wife and mother had provided him over the years in times of suffering and stress.
So on that Mother’s Day Sunday, Jason would break out of his longstanding slump in grandiose style by clouting a mammoth home run over the left field wall to win the game. It seems then it’s no coincidence that as Jason continues his bold pursuit of yogic mindfulness before and during each game, he will blossom into a successful baseball hitter as his major league career unfolds. Thus I hope you might follow Jason’s example in this story and be inspired by such Mothers Day goodness in your own family as you proceed forward to succeed in your own life.
Please note you can listen to a podcast version of this blog. Just click on the link below.